JAMES W. SIMONS 1944 - 1945 SUPER, ORIGINAL WORLD WAR II MANUSCRIPT DIARY HANDWRITTEN BY A TOUGH FIGHTING SEABEE WHO PINES FOR HIS WIFE BUTCH
ABOARD THE USNS SOUTHERN CROSS 1944 Good+ Manuscript
On offer is a sensational 1944 - 1945 World War II manuscript diary handwritten by Seabee James W[illiam] Simons of Washington DC who serves in Company C, Plat 6, 94th Navy Construction Battalion. While not identified in the book proper there are two postcards tucked in providing his name as the addressee. The diary starts on September 19, 1944 and ends on September 15, 1945. The fully filled 130 page approximately 6 x 4 inch notebook style diary provides a very intimate look into life aboard ship written by an expressive keen eyed man with a fair bit of personality. Simons does a super job of detailing the life of a sailor from the stink of living cheek and jowl with hundreds of other men, to standing on deck to buy a Coke the line up 'two laps long'. Simons by nature is very succinct: 'Weather swell. Moon beautiful. Movie stinks. Saki raid pulled. New batch uncovered.' He is home sick for his wife Betty 'Butch' Simons [legally as per the obituary below Olsie (Betty Jane) Blevins] who he also calls Honey. Usually he expresses his wish to be with her but at one time is critical that she does not write enough. Besides life aboard the transport ship he writes of his time on Eniwetok Atoll (Marshall Islands) and Guam, Japanese snipers, FDR's death, Truman, Tokyo Rose, Saipan, Iwo Jima, weather, work, war bond drive, dropping the atom bombs, and he commented on the movies shown and if he liked or disliked them. Overall VG. BIO NOTES: as per his online obituary: JAMES WILLIAM SIMONS (Age 96) Of New Market, VA died June 13, 2012 at Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg, VA. He was born on September 23, 1915 in Front Royal, Virginia and was the son of Bertie Virginia Martin and James William Simons. He had nine siblings who predeceased him, Dae, Ruth, Ethel, Catherine, Bill, Charles, Jack, Mary, and Leslie. Jimmy graduated from Warren County High School and worked as a plumber in his partnership business Simons & Tyler Plumbing & Heating until 1960. He continued to work as a plumber until he retired in 1980. Jimmy served in the 94th Navy Sea Bees on the ship The Southern Cross during WWII. He married Olsie (Betty Jane) Blevins on September 1, 1939. They resided on Strathmeade St. in Falls Church until Betty's death on December 14, 1994. He became a member of National Gardens Baptist Church in Falls Church in 1947 where he taught Sunday school for nearly fifty years; positively affecting the lives of many youth. On December 13, 1997, he married Ruth V. Crider and moved to New Market, VA where they resided until her death on July 15, 2011.